Wormholes through History

Here’s a very interesting post from Terry Pitts, discussing Ishmael Reed’s 1972 novel Mumbo-Jumbo. Terry’s excellent blog on can be found here: Vertigo: Where literature and art intersect, with an emphasis on W.G. Sebald and literature with embedded photographs.


I recently reread (and wrote about) Ishmael Reed’s 1972 novel Mumbo Jumbo.  I probably first read it in the 1970s and I don’t recall being unduly surprised by finding a horde of strange images included within the text.  In the anything-goes era of Kurt Vonnegut, Richard Brautigan, Donald Barthelme, Guy Davenport, and others, it felt as if the novel form was being redefined continuously.  Adding real images to works of fiction was just another way to shake up the establishment.

In his book Postmodernist Fiction (I still use the first edition of 1987), Brian McHale refers to much of the imagery that was beginning to appear in novels like  Mumbo Jumbo as “anti-illustration.”  In his words, images ” contribute to and serve to heighten  the polyphonic structure of these texts; through their surrealist non-sequiturs, they bring worlds of discourse, visual and verbal, into collision.”  In fact, five…

View original post 595 more words


About Wit

I'm currently busy wearing holes in my shoes, trying to live on the edge of employment. I was raised on brown bread in the flatlands, but now I live in the cradle of the North West.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s